Software Development: Eastern Europe and Asia vs Nearshore American Teams

Software Development: Eastern Europe and Asia vs Nearshore American Teams
Damian Wasserman

One of the most critical things in software development projects is communication. Being able to discuss the process with our clients daily is mandatory.

But effective communication requires both parties to be working during the same hours. For clients, having the dev team in a different time zone can  make the communication process more challenging. Differing cultural backgrounds or traditions can bring even more misunderstandings, leading to wasted time or money.

 However, budget constraints may require companies to look at Asia and Eastern Europe to find talented developers. In this article, we review some key points to consider about setting up teams on each side of the world.

How to find the best resource location for you

Small, well-defined projects with highly detailed specs are usually straightforward. In this type of situation, it makes sense to take advantage of lower development costs in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Overseas development is also a good option if you and your team have a strong technical background. In this scenario, you can quickly recognize how good a developer’s skills are in terms of progress and performance. 

But if your needs are more complex or your technical expertise is limited, you could end up with a dev that doesn’t measure up.  And, after a couple of frustrating hires, starting from scratch with a new dev could be disappointing, no matter how quickly you realize they aren’t living up to your expectations. 

When building MVPs, frequent scope changes require the highest level of interaction. In these cases, delayed communication can lead to a longer than expected turnaround time, which is like a stone in the shoe — annoying and something you can’t do anything about. Thus, in these cases the dev team must be more willing to initiate discussions, and to change perspectives in the best interest of their customer. 

The next-highest level of engagement required is for established businesses, like e-commerce platforms, or MVPs already in production. In these cases, it’s crucial that you receive immediate support, so communication becomes a top priority. For these types of projects, resources in South and Central America are an ideal option because they perfectly balance budget, time zone compatibility, and outstanding talent. For this reason, we work hard to gather elite developers across LATAM.

What’s the turnaround time?

In addition to timely communication, turnaround time can become a real problem for businesses with critical development needs. These companies may take their first steps with resources from Eastern Europe or Asia. But when they gain market share and have different requirements, they end up migrating to dev teams in countries in a closer time zone. 

At the end of the day, all businesses that offshore development services must address the key element of turnaround time.

Eastern Europe (GMT+2) and India (GMT+5:30) are 10 and 13.5 hours, respectively, ahead of the Pacific time zone. Here’s an example of the importance of turnaround time:

Imagine you’re the CTO of a recognized ecommerce site in Santa Monica. Your team from Kyiv DMs you about an issue — the checkout flow is calculating prepaid discounts wrong. In other words, you’re giving your money away to all prepaid customers. The Facebook ads are running at a cost of $3K-$5K per day. You can’t slow down because it takes time to speed the campaigns back up. Disabling prepay isn’t a good option either; it’s an essential part of your marketing strategy.

3 pm in Santa Monica / 1 am in Kyiv

At 3 pm you write an email to your project manager in Kyiv but — as it’s 1 am there — the dev team is unavailable.

10 pm in Santa Monica / 8 am in Kyiv

So, you have to wait until they get to the office. At 8 am in Ukraine, your engineer looks into it, works on a fix, and finally pushes it to production at 8:30 am. His project manager approves the change, and the fix needs your final approval. But now you’re unavailable and they can’t wait, so they do it anyway.

7 am in Santa Monica / 5 pm in Kyiv

Best scenario: You get to your computer at 7 am the next day, confirming the bug is fixed. Great! It took 16 hours to get the confirmation, but you’re back up and running again. 

Worst scenario: They fixed the bug, but you realize something else is broken (a common horror story in engineering). Here’s where the struggle begins. Now, you’ll need another interaction to adjust. You have only two hours to get a final and robust fix. After that, the dev team will go offline again. And those two hours might not be enough.

In fact, it could take you days to have a back-and-forth interaction that you could have had in one hour if your team were geographically closer . Just by having all your resources available at the same time on Slack, you can smoothly sort out issues in minutes rather than days. 

Quality 

It wouldn’t be honest to generalize about where the best devs are. There are great, and not so great, resources everywhere. However, it’s important to mention that tech and sciences are strongly grounded in the education systems of countries like Argentina, Colombia, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Many graduates from schools in those countries study programming at university or even in high school. They do it not for money, but because it’s their passion. 

Additionally, engineers from these countries have a deep sense of self-improvement, demand much of themselves, and work with the highest standards in the software industry. As Latin Americans, they also characteristically value effort and hard work.

Cost 

Software development costs in South and Central America are drastically lower than those in the U.S. However, they’re a bit higher than fees charged by developers in Eastern Europe and considerably more than those charged in India.   

For example, a dev company in India might charge between $15 and $30 per hour. In Eastern Europe, the same services might cost between $30 and $40 per hour, and in South and Central America, comparable services would cost about $50 per hour. Companies in the U.S. take the cake, exceeding $100 per hour on average for comparable services.

Does migration sound too hard?

You’re right! Migrating a team is hard. That’s why we’re dedicated to taking all the hassle off your plate and providing tailor-made teams in just a few days. Dealing with all the details of migration is a complex process that distracts you from your true expertise — managing your business.

So, drop us a line and we’ll schedule a meeting to assess your situation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house.

 

Next: All You Need to Know About Migrating Your Team


Damian Wasserman, Co-founder

BEON – Tech Studio

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